Fiction Friday, Healthy Living, Writing

When will body positivity meet literary diversity?

Diversity is shaping up to be the word of the decade. From the White House to the Oscars to literature, it’s a hot topic. As it should be.

As both an author and reader, I’m taking steps to curb the gross bias against non-white, non-hetero, and disabled people in our literature. I’m reading more diverse (especially diverse authors) and being far more conscious of the diversity in my own writing than I ever have before, because I have come to see how much REPRESENTATION MATTERS.   Continue reading “When will body positivity meet literary diversity?”

Healthy Living, Mystic Monday, Real Life

Grounding through the Summer Buzz

daisies-1307650_1920I’m a summer child. My birthday is just one week before the solstice, and the summer is when I come fully alive. I love the heat. I love long, languid days and soft, humid nights. I love sunshine, and light, and bright colors. Someone once likened me to a butterfly; saying that I break out of a cocoon and become someone else as the sun takes hold. I’m naturally light and airy. The air signs dominate my astrological chart, and my Ayurvedic sign is Vata. Because of these things, the heat of summer is the perfect balance for me. But the constant INERTIA of the warmer, more active seasons can also be a huge drain on my energy.

Grounding is easy in the fall and winter months, when the seasons virtually call us to do that very thing. We stay inside, we take long baths or cozy up and read by a fire. We snuggle up in our little burrows and draw inward. In contrast, summer invites us to sprawl. We go-go-go until we run out of juice, and then rest a bit and do it all over again. But that can lead to feeling overwhelmed, underprepared, exhausted, or even just scatterbrained.

Here are my five simple tips that can help you feel instantly more grounded, even through the buzz of the summer season:
Continue reading “Grounding through the Summer Buzz”

Healthy Living, Real Life

Holistic Health Hacks for Writers: Kicking Joe to the Curb

This is the second post in a series of Holistic Health Hacks for Writers (or any desk jockey).  If you want to catch up, read the first post on how to combat living in an indoor cave here.

Quick review:


In the first post, I mentioned the Holy Trinity to romance writers everywhere: coffee, chocolate, and wine.  Unfortunately, none of those are healthy for you in large quantities.  So, without further ado, let’s talk about how your good friend Joe is trapping you in a health-eroding cycle.

I haven't had my coffee yet, don't make me kill you.
Does this sound familiar?

Problem: Caffeine Dependence

Maybe you’re thinking right now, “Oh HELL NO – I’m not giving up coffee!!!  This chick is whack!” Hold your caffeine-fueled horses – I’ve got nothing against coffee.  It’s packed full of antioxidants and has been shown to be protective of your health…in moderation. Do I need to tell you why too much is bad?  It dehydrates you and taxes your adrenal glands (two little-known lumps on top of our kidneys that basically control our energy, blood sugar levels, and circadian rhythms).

The fact is, caffeine is a drug. It’s a neurological stimulant.  It works by blocking a “sleepy” receptor in your brain so that all your “awake” chemicals stay at unnaturally high levels. Just like with any other neuro-system drug, your brain senses this hiccup and finds a work-around to get things back in balance. The result is a higher tolerance, effects that have a shorter duration, and if you quit… RED ALERT! Anyone who wakes up (or wakes up next to) a morning zombie/grump can attest that withdrawls are not fun.  The good news is you CAN kick the caffeine crutch and even wake up alert and happy without a chemical assist.
Continue reading “Holistic Health Hacks for Writers: Kicking Joe to the Curb”

Healthy Living, Real Life, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Holistic Health Hacks for Writers: Indoor Cave Dwelling

Writing is art.  It’s an endeavor of passion.

The thing about art and passion is, it’s easy to get carried away, for life to become imbalanced.  Queue the clichés about writers who drink like fish, smoke like chimneys, forget how to use their legs, or become anti-social.

When I first discovered how much I love writing, I went on a 10-month binge of staying up every other night to write (because I was working a full-time job and attending college during normal waking hours).  That led to: caffeine dependence > Red Bull addiction > digestive problems/insomnia > using alcohol as a sleep aid > anemia, weight gain, and a host of other problems.  Basically, I was a wreck!  It took me a year of prioritizing my health (and letting writing take a backseat) to re-align my system and get on the road to okay – another two years to get to thriving.  I wasn’t able to crank out 5K words a day once I was cooking healthy meals, working out, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

Even if you’re not going to the extremes that I did, the fact of the matter is:

writing = butt in chair
butt in chair = bad for your health

Factor in the holy trinity to all the writers I know (coffee, chocolate, and wine).  Add a cup of deadline anxiety and a dash of sleep deprivation, and it’s pretty easy to find yourself out of balance in one way or another.  You could self-medicate with MORE coffee, chocolate, and wine… or you could integrate some of my favorite healthy habits to make writing not only easier on your body, but actually GOOD for you.  These tips can help anyone who works a desk job too.  😉

This is the first post in a series of posts on Holistic Health Hacks for Writers.  I hope you find one or many of them useful.  I practice most of them on a regular basis.
Continue reading “Holistic Health Hacks for Writers: Indoor Cave Dwelling”